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Northern Star

The Student News Site of Northern Illinois University

Northern Star

DeKalb Airport to house second Illinois Aviation Academy

Rachel Cormier
The DeKalb City Council sit and share their council member reports at the City Council meeting on April 8. The board approved an agreement for the Illinois Aviation Academy to train pilots at the DeKalb Municipal Airport. (Rachel Cormier | Northern Star)

DeKALB – The DeKalb Taylor Municipal Airport will train pilots and potentially house an extended campus of the Illinois Aviation Academy with the City Council’s approval of a “Specialized Aviation Service Operation” agreement.

The City Council voted unanimously to enter a SASO agreement for the IAA to use the municipal airport as a secondary location. The IAA will house three Cessna 172 aircrafts and utilize the airport’s office space for pilot debriefing, record-keeping and flight instruction.

Bob Werderich, owner of IAA, voiced his interest in building an eventual campus at the DeKalb Taylor Municipal Airport, according to the agenda

Within the one-year agreement, which can extend by three additional separate years,  the IAA will provide minor maintenance to current aircraft houses. The agreement will have the potential to bring corporate client air traffic to the DeKalb Taylor Municipal Airport if it were to eventually house another campus.

The IAA’s current flight school is located at the DuPage Airport and holds over 30 aircrafts ranging from light trainer planes to corporate jets. The academy has graduated over 2,000 pilots in the last 23 years.

The IAA will pay $1,620 per month to use the allotted 3,024 square feet of hangar space

and provide $300 per month to the DeKalb Taylor Municipal Airport to use the office space for one year.


Mayor Cohen Barnes updated the council and audience members that the Fifth Ward Alderman position will be replaced by one of eight potential candidates.

Barnes reminded citizens he does not intend to rush the process, but an interim alderman will be selected by the State Statute deadline.

I’m not gonna give a date, I wanna make a decision,” Barnes said. “I know what the State Statute is and I know when we have to have that, but I’m reviewing resumes right now and we’ll have a recommendation to council soon.”


During this upcoming Cinco de Mayo, citizens will have full reign over Illinois Route 38 between First Street and Fourth Street for a celebration in the downtown area.

The event will occur from 9 a.m. to 8 p.m. May 5 with the council’s approval to shut down the street. The city will celebrate Cinco de Mayo with food trucks, a lowrider car show, local bands and vendors spread throughout Lincoln Highway. 

The owners of Willrett Flower Company, El Jimador Mexican Grill and representatives of the Citizens’ Community Enhancement Commission will provide entertainment and food at the upcoming event.

City Council  meetings are open to the public and held at 6 p.m. on the 2nd and 4th Mondays of each month in the DeKalb Public Library. The next City Council meeting is April 22.

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